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Posted: 16 June 2013
TWO RECENT council by-elections in Southampton and Newcastle have underlined the mounting challenge to Labour posed by UKIP.
They have also confirmed that translating the support that exists for TUSC's anti-austerity message into votes is not simple or straight-forward when the underlying anger at the establishment parties has an alternative outlet.
UKIP had not stood a candidate in Newcastle's Walkergate ward or Southampton's Woolston ward the last time these seats were contested in full council elections in May 2012, but came through to finish second in both seats this time.
Posted: 11 June 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met last week to begin the discussion on what intervention could be made in next year's scheduled elections.
Thursday May 22nd 2014 will see elections being held in 160 local councils in England, including mayoral contests in Watford and the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. The full list of councils with elections next year is available at 2014 council profiles
Labour controls 76 of these councils - with 54 Tory-controlled, 22 under no overall control, and eight Lib Dem-led - covering all the metropolitan areas of England, including the 32 London boroughs.
Posted: 3 June 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has agreed candidates for forthcoming council by-elections in Plymouth (polling day, 27th June) and Brighton (11th July), running alongside the previously announced by-election campaigns in Newcastle (this Thursday), Southampton (13th June), and Salford (20th June).
The Brighton by-election follows the resignation of the sitting Green Party councillor for the Hanover and Elm Grove ward.
The contest will be taking place against the backdrop of a dispute between the Green Party leadership of the city council and the council workforce over cuts to terms and conditions.
Posted: 31 May 2013
THE SOUTHAMPTON council meeting on May 15th debated a motion moved by the 'rebel councillors' Keith Morrell and Don Thomas that the council remove the threat of eviction if a tenant falls into arrears because they are unable to pay the 'Bedroom Tax' increase in their rent.
The motion was quite straightforward. It read:
"Further to the resolution of the council concerning the under-occupation penalty (so-called 'Bedroom Tax'), Southampton council further resolves not to evict any tenant who goes into rent arrears because of the 'Bedroom Tax' and calls on other local social housing providers to do the same.
Posted: 30 May 2013
SIXTY PEOPLE attended last week's meeting to launch the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's anti-cuts electoral challenge for next year's local elections in the north London borough of Haringey.
The meeting was chaired by Jenny Sutton, a local University and College Union (UCU) rep who has stood for TUSC locally in previous elections and achieved creditable results.
Platform speaker Oktay Sahbaz of the Day Mer Turkish and Kurdish group that hosted the meeting, explained that austerity policies, supported by all the major parties, were unnecessary and had made the rich even richer at our expense in the period since the financial crash.
Posted: 23 May 2013
"CAN YOU guarantee that this time next year, Sure Start, local libraries, and Woolston youth centre will still be open?" Twice Carol Cunio, one of the Labour councillors for Southampton's Woolston ward, where a council by-election is taking place on June 13th, was challenged by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Sue Atkins.
Chairing the TUSC Woolston by-election campaign launch meeting, anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell invited the Labour councillor to answer.
The meeting was met with silence. It revealed to everyone there why electing a third anti-cuts councillor in Southampton is an urgent task for those fighting to protect jobs and services from Con-Dem cuts.
Posted: 17 May 2013
THE UKIP advance in May's local elections continued on Thursday as they took a seat from Labour in the Rawmarsh ward council by-election in Rotherham.
When this seat was contested in the 2012 borough council elections Labour won with 1,685 votes (66%) to the BNP's 531. The only other candidate was a Conservative, who polled 328 votes.
This time the UKIP candidate, who had some profile from contesting the Rotherham parliamentary seat in the 2010 general election, won with 46% of the vote, with Labour falling to 42% on only a slightly lower turnout. The BNP collapsed from 531 (21%) to 80 votes.
Posted: 19 May 2013
RETIRED CONSTRUCTION worker George Tapp, who has stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in council elections in Salford, has been hospitalized after being deliberately knocked down by a car as he took part in a protest against blacklisting at Manchester City football ground on Wednesday.
The 64-year-old sustained two broken legs and a fractured knee cap, and is now recovering at Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital.
Witnesses say the car drove deliberately and at speed into a crowd of protesters who were leafleting at the BAM construction site.
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